Thursday, November 21, 2013

The 50% Challenge

To what extent do you claim responsibility for the quality and outcome of your relationships?

Most people don't think about it. Even more are not aware of the responsibility they forsake in developing and nurturing their professional and personal relationships. These relationships  are pivotal to greater work and life fulfillment, but too often, we take a passive approach in managing them.
The solution is to challenge yourself to take ownership of the portion of the relationship that you control, your 50%.

Sure there are many relationships, both professional and personal, where one party is compelled take on more responsibility in keeping the relationship alive, but those relationships are time bombs. Because relationships are interpersonal and require work, the principles of equity theory and the resulting indignation soon manifest.

Relationships are really partnerships. They require you to do your part. Your part is the 50% that you can control - the choices, decisions, attention, commitment, and the effort. But it all starts with consciousness, merely being aware of how your actions (or inactions) influence the quality and outcome of your relationships is crucial.

Yes, some relationships are bad investments. Those are the ones in which you feel that you are exerting all of the energy in establishing or maintaining them, and the percentage of responsibility for their success is disproportionate (e.g, 80/20, 70/30, 90/10).

Cut them. Bad investments rob you of your greatest resources (time and energy) that you could just as easily put into good investments. It's the same process, just a different decision, with a different person who is more worthy.

So if you can honestly say, that you have done all that you can take full ownership of your 50% of the partnership that you are responsible for in your marriage, work relationships, family relations, friendships, then you have met the challenge.

The quality of your relationships should be satisfactory...if not then you need to take the 50% challenge, or you need to gently issue this challenge to those people in your life with whom you have unbalanced relationships.

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